Counter Strike 2's first ever International Tournament is being held at IEM Sydney 2023

Counter-Strike 2 is being played on the big stage at IEM Sydney 2023 this week, the first massive international tournament for Valve's updated CS.

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With the release of Coutner-Strike 2, Valve has officially closed the door on CS:GO, with the new version of the game bringing a much-needed visual and server-side overhaul to one of the most popular games currently out there.

Intel Extreme Masters Sydney 2023 kicks off this week, with the finals set to take place this weekend - where the top six teams (including Aussie locals Grayhound.Rivalry and VERTEX Esports Club) will battle it out for their share of the USD 250,000 prize pool. The winning team will also have the honor of being the Counter-Strike 2 champions in addition to getting one step closer to Intel Grand Slam V.

The competition is underway, and you can watch all the action on the ESL Counter-Strike YouTube and Twitch channels.

Intel Extreme Masters Sydney 2023 is a sold-out event, with all matches in front of a packed crowd at the Aware Super Theatre. Counter-Strike is one of the longest-running and most enduring competitive titles in the PC gaming space, though the recent launch of Counter-Strike 2 has been making headlines for all of the wrong reasons.

Recently, we reported on the game being Valve's worst-rated on Steam due to the company removing access to CS:GO in addition to players reporting plenty of bugs and issues with maps and modes. Not to mention the copious amount of microtransactions present in the game.

This doesn't mean that the rating is terrible; it's just that the recent 'Mixed' reviews put a bit of a smear on Valve's otherwise stellar track record. Also, AMD Radeon players are getting banned when enabling the company's low-latency Anti-Lag+ tech, which is more of an AMD issue than a Valve problem.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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